April Guest Teacher Blog

kelialex-d5vonye-f09cd55a7e4cdff907b7a1e6a3777352

Source: Upworthy

Meet Carrie Colpitts a good friend and fierce advocate for LGBTQ youth. Carrie is  a teacher, zine maker, and cat person.

As we work our way through April heading towards the end of the school year, consider thinking about how you can revamp your inclusion and awareness of LBTQ youth in your school.

The Power of Language, Visibility, and Advocacy

-Root your words and actions in kindness.

I use that phrase a lot, it’s always written above the board in my classroom and I say it as a gentle reminder to students.

Much of the work I do in making my classroom a safe space is done the first few days of school. The first minute, the first hour, the first day, the first week…those are extremely important times that set the tone in the classroom for the whole year. The first things on this list of ideas for making a welcoming classroom should be done on the very first days of school. Taking time to do these things will make the school year easier for every kid in your room who might need a little extra reassurance that you are committed to making a safe(r) space for them.

Continue reading

Advertisements

March Teacher Guest Blog

wordle 2

This post begins the monthly guest education blogger. I want to thank this blogger for their awareness and dedication to integrating diversity in student identities to their conversations in science class.

Teaching Biology Beyond XX and XY 

Regardless of what subject you teach, education is, by default, political. As educators, we make choices to expose students to certain information, and it is our responsibility to provide accurate and thorough access to a variety of ideas. We must recognize that students come to us with a wide range of experiences and that all students, regardless of their backgrounds, deserve to be respected and to hear their own stories echoed within the classroom.

In my science classroom, I specifically aim to empower students to become scientifically responsible global citizens who can make educated decisions about their roles in the world. Students will often debate about climate change or the evidence for evolution, but sometimes it is more personal: when learning about heredity, a student might begin to wonder what genetic traits his or her child will have.  Continue reading

Ask Matt: Teaching Teachers About Trans Issues

A great resource from Matt Kailey on the importance of training educators on the need to trans students.

Matt Kailey's Tranifesto

Question MarkA reader writes: “I will be talking and teaching teachers about being transgender and working with them to create a safer school climate and a respectful school climate. This particular school is getting its first trans boarding student. Several teachers have asked about the other students, as in, ‘They should be told that the new student is trans’ and ‘We need to protect the trans student and we need to protect the other students.’ How would you respond to this?

“I know it takes time to get used to something unfamiliar. I also believe, even in private high schools, that teachers must leave their baggage at the door, which is hard, but we did it with big areas like religion, racism, etc. How would you help faculty see what they need to do to create not only awareness, but eventually acceptance?”

I have done Safe Schools training in the past…

View original post 1,213 more words

The Etiquette Of Pronouns When You’re Unsure

People often want to be respectful, but are unsure of what to do if they are unsure of someone’s preferred pronouns. In my post on creating an inclusive classroom I talked about the importance of this. Take a look at this clip from the show So Popular with Janet Mock discussing pronouns in terms of Bruce Jenner’s transition. Continue reading

Must Watch Series or Documentaries On LGBTQ Lives

In the past few years different youth theatre groups, filmmakers, and documentaries have emerged to the masses to better educate and show the lives of LGBTQ youth. Below are 4 must watch documentaries. Some are in  the process of being produced. Others are free and available online. Another aspect of all of these shows/films are that the individuals in them are all LGBTQ. Educators take a few moments to watch these and explore how they might be useful in your schools or as a resource for students.

The Year We Though About Love

Synopsis

What happens when a diverse group of LGBTQ youth dares to be “out” on stage to reveal their lives and their loves?

“The Year We Thought About Love” goes behind the scenes of one of the oldest queer youth theaters in America, with our camera crew slipping into classrooms, kitchens, subways, and rehearsal rooms with this fearless and endearing troupe. Boston-based True Colors: OUT Youth Theater transforms daily struggles into performance for social change. With, candor, and attitude, our cast of characters captivates audiences surprised to hear such stories in school settings. Our film introduces a transgender teenager kicked out of her house, a devout Christian challenging his church’s homophobia, and a girl who prefers to wear boys’ clothing even as she models dresses on the runway. When bombs explode outside their building, the troupe becomes even more determined to share their stories of love to help heal their city.”

Source: The Year We Thought About Love 

Passing

Passing

“Passing” profiles the lives of three men of colour who have undergone gender transition from female to male. The film explores what life is like living as a black man when no one knows you are transgender and how each of them now, perceives their own journey with gender after many years of being interacted with by the world as a biological man.”

Source: “Passing” INDIEGOGO Campaign

 

Laverne Cox Presents: The T Word

“Laverne Cox Presents: The T Word” takes viewers inside the challenging and inspiring lives of seven transgender youths from across the country. Learn their incredible stories, and how their determination to live an authentic life is helping them become the person they are truly meant to be. Emmy-nominated actress and transgender advocate Laverne Cox serves as executive producer and host of this moving and thought-provoking documentary.”

 

brothersb-w1

 

 BROTHERS
“The series follows their daily lives, the ups and down, in and outs, of what it means to live as a transgender individual in today’s urban society. The series’ main character Jack has recently started sleeping with a cisgender man after exclusively dating women for his entire adult life. His friend Davyn is on the verge of proposing to his long time girlfriend, Amy. Aiden is the youngest of the group and is pre-testosterone and pre-surgery, but aiming to raise money for his top surgery as the date approaches. And Max, the eldest, has been on hormones longer than both Jack and Davyn, but hasn’t had the financial resources to obtain his top surgery. What does it mean to struggle and succeed as a trans person in the complicated fabric of today’s society?”

 

Source: Brothers Series

 

 

Why Showing Trans Youth Teachers Are Supportive Is Necessary

5ways

Source: Trans Student Educational Resources

 

This post has been weighing on my mind since early December. I wrote an Op-ed for the Advocate about public accommodations in schools for students who are transgender. Think about how being treated like everyone else in school can positively affect your day? Just before and after this piece came out there were several suicides within the transgender youth community. This saddens me that these individuals are gone and didn’t have the support and resources they needed. As an educator I want students to know that there are many of us who are here to support you, listen to you, and here to help you find resources. Continue reading

How To Create An Inclusive Classroom Tip 2

Create a classroom library with books about all kinds of identities. As with any classroom library it’s a good idea to slowly add books that cover topics that students may not be familiar with. Consider highlighting some of these books as a read aloud with specific discussions or activities before adding them to your library.

Think of some ways to integrate them into a unit you teach during the school year.

One thought might be to do an identity project (developmentally appropriate for 5th or 6th graders) and use some of these books as a read aloud.

Here are 8 books for elementary (1-6 or beyond) students that include characters that are transgender, broaden the sense of gender stereotypes, or are trying to educate about diversity: Continue reading